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Canada's Davies scores shootout penalty to bury World Cup demons

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Canada captain Alphonso Davies banished memories of his penalty miss at the 2022 World Cup by confidently converting a spot-kick in a shootout victory over Venezuela in the Copa America quarter-finals on Friday.

In Canada's 1-0 group stage defeat to Belgium at the World Cup in Qatar, Davies had a tame penalty saved by goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, and the North American side eventually exited the tournament with three losses.

On Friday, faced with the pressure of knowing that a miss would hand victory to opponents Venezuela, Davies stepped up to the spot and smashed Canada's penultimate penalty into the top corner.

Canada fans cheer after winning a Copa America quarterfinal soccer match between Venezuela and Canada, Friday, July 5, 2024, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Venezuela then missed their next spot-kick and Ismael Kone buried the winning penalty to send Canada into the semi-finals.

"Obviously, I had flashbacks to the World Cup, but I did not let that get to me. I knew where I wanted to go before I walked up to the ball," Davies told Canadian broadcaster TSN.

I had confidence in myself, my team had confidence in me and I picked my spot and put it there. I'm happy it went in the back of the net."

Canada face a stern test in the semi-finals, coming up against an Argentina side that has already beaten them in this tournament.

Canada celebrates their win over Venezuela in a Copa America quarterfinal soccer match in Arlington, Texas, Friday, July 5, 2024. (AP Photo/Richard Rodriguez)

"It's going to take everything. We played them in the group stage, we played well but didn't get the win we wanted," Davies said.

"Going into this game, we know what's on the line. We win and go forward, we lose and go home. They're going to come out with everything. We're hungrier than ever, we expect a battle as they should."

Canada will face Argentina in New Jersey on Tuesday.

Canada defender Alphonso Davies (19) celebrates with head coach Jesse Marsch after their win over Venezuela in a Copa America quarterfinal soccer match in Arlington, Texas, Friday, July 5, 2024. (AP Photo/Richard Rodriguez)(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by William Mallard)

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